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Leimert Park Eats: Mama's House

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I think I have found it. I have found The One. True, I have not eaten at every soul food restaurant in LA (yet), but if I had to pick the one to settle down with, Mama's House would be it. Hidden away in an old-fashioned strip mall on Crenshaw Boulevard, Mama's House has been quietly gaining fans for the last seven years. The room is comfortable, filled with family photos and bric-a-brac. It almost takes a minute for you to recognize the Japanese windows and realize you are sitting right in the middle of a sushi restaurant, sans sushi. Instead of raw tuna, the glass display case is now brimming with sweet potato pies. Not a bad trade, really.

When "Mama" Juanita Penland reached the age of 68, her kids decided to buy her the restaurant as a present. In the relatively short time since they opened their doors in August of 2000, they have won two prestigious Hoodie Awards as well as the heart of the community.